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«with contributions from: Yasutami Shimomura, Kenichi Ohno, Masashi Nagasu True Ownership and Policy Autonomy: Managing Donors and Owning Policies ...»

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Edited by Izumi Ohno

with contributions from:

Yasutami Shimomura,

Kenichi Ohno,

Masashi Nagasu

True Ownership and Policy Autonomy:

Managing Donors and Owning Policies

True Ownership and Policy Autonomy:

Managing Donors and Owning Policies

Edited by Izumi Ohno

with contributions from:

Yasutami Shimomura,

Kenichi Ohno,

Masashi Nagasu

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies GRIPS Development Forum Copyright © 2005 GRIPS Development Forum


GRIPS Development Forum National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies 7-22-1 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo 106-8677 Phone: 03-6439-6337 Fax: 03-6439-6010 Contents Foreword Contributors Introduction and Overview

Yasutami SHIMOMURA and Izumi OHNO

1. Export Capacity Building in Thailand: Managing Donors and the Development Process toward a Self-Reliant Economy................21 Yasutami SHIMOMURA

2. Fostering True Ownership in Vietnam: From Donor Management to Policy Autonomy and Content

Izumi OHNO and Kenichi OHNO

3. Challenge of Managing Donors in Cambodia: Review of the Process of Preparing the National Poverty Reduction Strategy..........67 Masashi NAGASU Tables 1 Three Dimensions of Ownership: Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia..13 2 Thailand’s Top 10 Export Commodities: 1973-1986

3 Thailand’s Terms of Trade: 1975-1985

4 Thailand’s Macroeconomic Imbalance in the Early 1980s................27 5 Choices Faced by the Thai Government in 1985

6 Simulation on the NFC Profitability

7 Foreign Exchange Rate and International Fertilizer Price Trends........29 8 Trade Balance between Thailand and Japan in the Early 1980s..........31 9 Aid as a percent of Macroeconomic Aggregates

10 Change in Political and Economic Systems in Cambodia..................70 11 Timeline of SEDP II and PRSP Preparation

Figures 1 Typologies of Development Management

2 Selected Sources of Foreign Exchange Inflows

3 Two Prototypes of PRSP

4 Foreign Aid: Grants versus Loans

Boxes 1 Aid Harmonization by Donor Group

2 History of Aid Infusion without Control

3 Two Banks, Two Processes, Two Documents

–  –  –

This book is a collection of essays on ownership, based on case analyses of three East Asian countries. By illustrating the different nature and levels of ownership demonstrated in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, it attempts to cast light on critical elements of ownership that are desirable for and should be ultimately aspired by today’s developing countries.

For Japan, ownership is not entirely a new concept. Despite the recently intensified global attention to country ownership, Japan has embraced such concept for long, phrasing it as “self-help effort.” Moreover, I believe that the concept of “self-help effort” is somewhat broader than the conventional interpretation of ownership—with the emphasis on eventual graduation from aid and selective adaptation of external advice to the country-specific context—reflecting Japan’s own development and aid experiences in East Asia. I hope that this book will contribute to deepening the understanding of ownership by adding Asian perspectives to the ongoing debates.

I sincerely appreciate the valuable contributions by the authors, who have participated in this research. We are also grateful for all who have kindly supported our research by giving their time for interviews and providing comments. These include the discussions at two international workshops, “Forging partnership?: A comparative study of institutional responses to Nordic and Japanese Aid in Asia,” held in Hanoi on March 19-21, 2004 and Stockholm on June 17-19, 2005 (funded by SIDA, FINNIDA, NORAD, DANIDA, JBIC and JICA, with the participation of Nordic and Asian researchers). However, we bear sole responsibility for the views expressed in the book and any errors.

–  –  –

Yasutami Shimomura is professor in the Department of Humanity and Environment at Hosei University, Tokyo.

Izumi Ohno is professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo.

Kenichi Ohno is professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo.

Masashi Nagasu is professor at the Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto.

Introduction and Overview Yasutami Shimomura and Izumi Ohno

1. Objective The objective of this research is to share the experiences of aid and development management of three East Asian countries and to contribute to a mutual understanding of the critical elements of ownership that are desirable for today’s developing countries. Such elements include the capacity of developing countries for managing donors and owning policies. There is a shared consensus on the importance of ownership in the development process, and virtually all recent literature argues that aid should better promote national ownership. Certainly, aid facilitates recipient countries’ access to finance, goods, and knowledge and technology, which are essential inputs to their socioeconomic development processes. However, it is also true that there is a tension between ownership and aid because excessive dependence on aid may constrain recipient countries from exercising policy autonomy.

What is true ownership? What are the critical elements of ownership that developing countries should establish in order to sustain poverty reduction and growth? How have some countries succeeded in dealing with donors and exercising policy autonomy? How can donors foster (or hamper) true ownership of developing countries? These are the central questions to be examined in this research. In doing this, we go beyond donor rhetoric on ownership and pay attention to recipient perspectives.

This research attempts to analyze the experiences of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia in managing aid relationships and development processes. The nature and levels of ownership demonstrated by the three countries differ significantly, owing to their stages of political and socio-economic development, as well as to historical factors. By providing concrete country analyses, this research tries to deepen our understanding of the nature of true ownership.

While ownership is a multi-dimensional concept, we concentrate on national-level development strategies and policies, charged by the central government. This is because economic development is a process that must be undertaken at the level of the nation-state as the implementing unit, and in its early stages the central government must act as the initiator of change by establishing a development vision, translating it into practical measures within hard budget constraints, and interacting with external and domestic partners for resource mobilization, coordination and implementation.

2. Three Dimensions of Ownership Three dimensions are especially important when we examine the concept of true ownership from the perspective of recipient governments.

The first is the goal of aid. Ownership should be based on the strong will and commitment of national leaders to build a self-reliant economy. National development strategies and policies (or poverty reduction strategies, which have been widely introduced in low-income developing countries during the past five years) should assume eventual “gradTrue Ownership and Policy Autonomy uation” (or an “exit plan”) from aid and be supported by a concrete vision and realistic measures for growth promotion and domestic resource mobilization. Although most national development strategies embrace equitable and sustainable growth as their stated objective, this should not be simply a slogan.

This issue is closely related to Japan’s aid philosophy, which stems from its own experience in catching up with the West since the Meiji era, reconstructing the nation after World War II, and supporting East Asia’s successful economic take-off. In fact, ownership is not an entirely new concept for Japan. Such a concept has long been embraced in the guise of “self-help effort,” which includes aspirations for growth with eventual graduation from aid (Ohno 2003). Therefore, while sharing much with what is advocated by today’s international development community, the Japanese concept encompasses a slightly broader spectrum of action (Sunaga 2004).

The second is the scope of ownership. Most literature defines ownership in terms of recipient commitment to and capacity for design and implementation of policy reform (Leandro, Schafer and Frontini 1999;

Morrissey 1999).1 But this definition fails to differentiate management of the aid relationship from development itself. We consider it important to distinguish two types of capacities: (i) donor management; and (ii) policy autonomy and content (referring to the substance of national development strategies and policies).

Donor management refers to the capacity to own the relationship with the donor community and requires leadership in policy dialogue, coorMorrissey (1999) deconstructs government ownership into: preference, political capacity, political commitment, administrative capacity and institutional capacity. He states that a government truly owns a policy reform if it has the capacity to analyze options and to choose and implement the preferred policy. Earlier, Johnson and Wasty (1993) measured “borrower ownership” of adjustment programs using four independent variables: locus of initiative; level of intellectual conviction among key policy makers; expression of political will by top leadership; and efforts toward consensus-building among various constituencies. These variables were refined by Killick (1998) by adding “institutionalization of the measures within the policy system.” dinating of diverse requests, selectively adopting donor advice, handling friction with diplomatic grace, and so on. Such capacity is required and exercised by a relatively small segment of the government, mainly the administrative body in charge of aid receipt. By contrast, policy autonomy and content are concerned with owning development policies. This requires the capacity to identify national development goals, set coherent and realistic action plans and timetables, execute them without delay, respond to unforeseen situations, and so on. As such, it is a much broader task than donor management. It calls for the execution of development itself, of which aid is only a part. Intra-governmental coordination is required for owning policy autonomy and content. In heavily aid-dependent countries, it is not easy in practice to draw a line between the management of aid resources and that of the country’s own development. Nevertheless, the two are conceptually different (see Chapter 2).

Figure 1 illustrates two extreme types of development management. In Case 1, the government is capable of managing the entire development process and hence coordinates aid as part of its own coherent development effort. The government initiates and formulates a national development strategy, identifies specific needs to be financed by aid, presents its aid requests and negotiates with donors, matches aid programs and projects with its own internal resources, implements various developmental activities, and monitors and evaluates results.

By contrast, in Case 2, government and donors assume “joint responsibility” for managing the development process. Due to capacity constraints, the government faces the fragmentation of aid, as well as difficulty in formulating and presenting policy content. In this case, government and donors jointly decide the content of development policy and the allocation of the budget, including aid money, and jointly monitor development activities. Development management increasingly becomes a process of donor coordination, rather than government coordination of aid resources.

–  –  –

Joint decision on development management by recipient & donors Source: modified the Figure 3-5, Ohno and Niiya (2004), p.28.

In our view, the East Asian “miracle” economies pursued and accomplished Case 1-type development management. Although the “miracle” governments may have lacked sufficient institutional basis at the initial stage of development, they made strenuous efforts to establish core government institutions for strategic planning, resource management, and coordination and to build cadres of economic technocrats insulated from narrow political pressures (World Bank 1993; Campos and Root 1996). Under strong political leadership, these economic technocrats formulated and implemented growth-oriented economic policies—for example, diversifying and upgrading industrial structure— while addressing social and equity concerns. For these governments, the aid relationship was just one component of development management, a means to achieve a national goal of promoting growth and establishing wealth-sharing mechanisms on a nation-wide scale (“shared growth”).

In reality, most developing countries fall between Case 1 and Case 2.

The governments of heavily aid-dependent countries, in which aid accounts for a substantial part of development financing and donors possess greater financial power, are especially constrained from exercising genuine autonomy. Nevertheless, to establish true ownership, the government must be at the center of the development process; it is vitally important to develop a vision for promoting shared growth, to build country systems for mobilizing financial and human resources, and to nurture local expertise in managerial and technical skills in order to realize the level of Case 1.2 This research shows Thailand to be an example of Case 1-type development management. Vietnam and Cambodia, to different degrees, are yet to achieve Case 1-type development management.

The experience of Botswana shows that high levels of aid dependency

2 In this regard, we are concerned that recent donor discussions of ownership tend to focus on aid relationship. Such discussions assume that donors dominate development policy agenda and that the development process in recipient countries is virtually identical with the aid relationship.

True Ownership and Policy Autonomy

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